Jose Mourinho and Daniel Levy disagreed on the importance of the Carabao Cup for Tottenham Hotspur after an argument that preceded the former’s dismissal.
Mourinho left his role as Tottenham boss on Monday. He had been a big-name replacement for Mauricio Pochettino when initially appointed. But despite a promising start to this season, Spurs’ form in the Premier League nosedived. It eventually led to Mourinho’s exit.
Spurs have appointed Ryan Mason as interim manager until the end of the season. The former midfielder has been thrown in at the deep end. His first game in charge will be a league game against Southampton, before the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City.
It was a disagreement about those two matches that caused a divide between Mourinho and Levy, one journalist claims.
According to Duncan Castles, Mourinho wanted to rest players against Southampton. His intention was to field a stronger side at the weekend to try to win the Carabao Cup. But the Tottenham chairman had a differing viewpoint.
“What is particularly painful for him [Mourinho] is being prevented from the opportunity to end Tottenham’s 13-year trophy drought having got them to the League Cup final against Manchester City,” Castles said on The Transfer Window Podcast.
“I can tell you from the information that I have from people close to Mourinho, that ahead of that game he talked to Daniel Levy.
“He explained that he intended to rest two or three of his most-used players for the Premier League game against Southampton in order to get the team in the best possible condition for the League Cup final.
“My information is that Levy had told him ‘no, I want you to play the strongest team possible against Southampton because league position is more important than winning that cup’.
“The people close to Mourinho think that was more of a provocation from Levy that he had decided he was going to change manager.
“People close to Mourinho if he hadn’t have used that, he would have used something else to provoke him and manufacture his dismissal.
“Tottenham’s view is that they want the best finish to the season and that is why they got rid of him.”
Triple exit threat led to decision
Another factor behind Levy’s decision to dismiss Mourinho could have been fears about three players.
After Mourinho left, reports claimed that he never wanted to sign Gareth Bale. The winger returned to Tottenham on loan from Real Madrid in the summer but hasn’t recaptured his best form.
Then, it emerged that Levy feared Tottenham could lose Harry Kane and Dele Alli. That added to fears that Bale may return to Madrid at the end of his loan.
Kane has expressed an interest at testing himself at a higher level. Meanwhile, Alli has struggled for action under Mourinho.
Therefore, all three players could have left if Mourinho stayed on. With that in mind, Levy decided to send the Portuguese coach away.
Now, he will need to find the right replacement to make Tottenham competitive again.